Foxconn likely to become Sharp's new owner

The firm that manufactures the iPhone is putting a $5.5 billion bet on being able to rescue Sharp.

Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty

Foxconn is now the clear favorite to buy Sharp after offering $5.5 billion for the moribund electronics firm. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Foxconn's bid was so large that it's now entering "exclusive talks" to seal the deal. Previously, the firm was running a close-second to INCJ, an investment fund backed by the Japanese government. It was hoped that INCJ would win in order to keep one of Japan's oldest electronics firms out of the hands of foreign owners. Unfortunately, it's believed that the fund offered around $2.5 billion for the loss-making maker of displays, home entertainment equipment and appliances.

If Bloomberg is to be believed, Foxconn chief Terry Gou is looking to become a tech CEO in his own right, rather than a behind-the-scenes player. As it stands, Foxconn is the world's most prominent electronics manufacturer, producing devices for Apple, Microsoft, Sony and Amazon amongst others. Buying Sharp not only gives Gou a customer-facing brand, but also hands him expertise in display manufacturing that he currently doesn't have. Given how much money and time is thrown at the mobile screen business, that could become a huge deal further down the line.